Superior Court Upholds $9 Million Mesothelioma Verdict Against Ford Motor Company
In June of 2018, a mesothelioma lawsuit filed by Paula Knecht of New Mexico was heard by a jury. Mrs. Knecht’s husband Larry died of the asbestos-related disease in December of 2014, just 8 months after being diagnosed, and the lawsuit claimed that his illness was caused by his exposure to asbestos-contaminated products that he used during his long career as an auto mechanic and owner of Knecht Automotive in Los Alamos, New Mexico. Ford Motor Company was among the automotive products manufacturers named in the suit, and when the jury returned its verdict, they awarded the widow $40.6245 million in compensatory damages, attributing 20% of the blame to Ford. Ford filed two motions, with one asking for the verdict to be overturned and/or the case to be heard again based on a matter of law, and the second seeking a new trial based on the idea that the award was excessive. The Superior Court of Delaware denied both of these motions, leaving the verdict and the award in place.
Ford Argues Against Expert Witness Testimony and Causation
Ford’s first motion made several arguments against the mesothelioma verdict based on legal premises, including arguments against the testimony provided by expert witnesses, the question of causation, instructions on determining damages, and inconsistent responses to interrogatories provided to the jury. The Superior Court reviewed each of these arguments and found that they had been reviewed previously during the course of the trial, and that nothing had changed since then. They stood by the original court’s ruling on each point.
Ford Accuses Attorneys of Inflaming Jury
As to Ford’s second motion, they argued that the jury had awarded the mesothelioma widow an unreasonable amount in compensation based on “bias, passion or prejudice caused by Plaintiff’s counsel during closing argument.” The Superior Court reviewed the proceedings and found no merit to Ford’s argument, pointing out that had the jury been inflamed against Ford they would have assigned them a greater percentage of the blame in the case.
While facing a mesothelioma diagnosis, you are likely to face numerous challenges, including from those responsible for you exposure to asbestos. Fortunately, there are plenty of resources available to support you, including the Patient Advocates at Mesothelioma.net. Contact us at 1-800-692-8608 to see how we can help.FREE Mesothelioma Packet